Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 26, 2005
A novel method to measure circadian cycles
A research article published in the freely-available online journal PLoS Biology reveals a novel method permits characterization of circadian rhythms in humans and mice using single skin biopsies.

Transmission of tuberculosis is linked to historical patterns of human migration
Dr. Igor Mokrousov from St. Petersburg's Pasteur Institute and his colleagues have demonstrated that the evolutionary history of the causative agent of tuberculosis (TB) has been shaped by human migration patterns.

Statins use associated with lower risk of fractures
In a large study of elderly, predominately male veterans, statin use was associated with a 36 percent reduction in risk of fracture when compared with no lipid-lowering therapy, according to a study in the September 26 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Study identifies gene in mice that may control risk-taking behavior in humans
Scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have found that a specific neurodevelopmental gene, called neuroD2, is related to the development of an almond-shaped area of the brain called the amygdala, the brain's emotional seat.

Rutgers College of Nursing faculty member to receive distinguished alumna award
Illinois Wesleyan University School of Nursing will present its Distinguished Alumna Award for Excellence in Nursing Practice, Education and Research to Wendy Nehring, associate dean for academic affairs, at the College of Nursing at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

Family history alone can imply cancer mutation risk
One in five women diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer who seek mammography have a family history of cancer that suggests they may harbor known cancer-causing gene mutations.

Thomas Eisner to receive 2005 Rockefeller University Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science
A world authority on animal behavior, ecology and evolution, Thomas Eisner, Ph.D., has been chosen to receive The Rockefeller University's 2005 Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science.

Can pomegranates prevent prostate cancer? A new study offers promise
The juice of the pomegranate, say researchers at University of Wisconsin Medical School, shows major promise to combat prostate cancer - the most common invasive cancer and the second-leading cause of cancer death in American men.

Inventors of plastic shield to stop cash machine skimming fear arrest
Two design engineers at the University of Warwick have devised a simple plastic shield that could play a significant role in eliminating the card skimming cash machine fraud - but taking the design further could put them at risk of arrest!

Researchers discover gene mutations associate with a chronic pain syndrome
Researchers have discovered gene mutation associated with a type of chronic pain and weakness syndrome.

Conference: A long and healthy life: The contribution of medical research to AU community health
Tuesday 27 September 2005 at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, 1G Royal Parade, Parkville, Victoria.

Two human rights activists to receive Pagels Award from NY Academy of Sciences
Two Human Rights Activists to Receive the 2005 Heinz R.

ESA selects targets for asteroid-deflecting mission Don Quijote
Based on the recommendations of asteroid experts, ESA has selected two target asteroids for its Near-Earth Object deflecting mission, Don Quijote.

USU students awarded fellowships
The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine (HJF) is pleased to announce the selection of three exceptional Uniformed Services University (USU) School of Medicine doctoral graduate students to receive HJF fellowships for the 2005-2006 academic year.

Physicians ill-prepared to diagnose, treat bioterrorism diseases
More than one-half of 631 physicians tested were unable to correctly diagnose diseases caused by agents most likely to be used by bioterrorists, such as smallpox, anthrax, botulism and plague, according to a Johns Hopkins study published in the Sept.

Sewerage sludge - A new raw material for cement production?
Korean ceramics researchers have recently investigated the potential for using sewerage sludge in cement production, according to an article in the current issue of online materials science journal AZojomo.

Questionnaire identifies women at risk of inherited breast or ovarian cancer
A simplified way for patients to report and update their family medical histories could help identify women who have inherited genetic mutations that increase their risk for breast or ovarian cancer.

Drug resistance testing in treatment-naïve HIV patients is cost-effective
Testing for drug resistance in HIV-infected patients at the time of HIV diagnosis is cost-effective and may increase patients' life expectancy, according to an article in the Nov.

Emergency-room visits dip during key Red Sox games
When is a medical emergency really an emergency? Not during key postseason baseball games, report investigators from Children's Hospital Boston.

Diverse synthetic methodologies for the synthesis of various isoquinolinic alkaloids
This research work developed a number of synthetic methodologies for the synthesis of various isoquinolinic alkaloids.

Launch of AZojomo - AZo Journal Of Materials Online
The world's first genuinely open-access online Materials Science Journal will pay authors to publish while providing maximum impact.

Program may improve physicians' knowledge about diseases caused by bioterrorism agents
An online education program improved physicians' knowledge about the diagnosis and management of diseases caused by bioterrorism agents, such as anthrax, smallpox and plague, according to a study in the September 26 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Gang injunctions give communities short-term relief, study shows
In the first study examining how civil gang injunctions affect community members, researchers at UC Irvine and the University of Southern California have found that injunctions provide short-term benefits, such as reducing residents' fear of run-ins with gang members.

Cancer drug might help kids with fatal 'aging' syndrome
Johns Hopkins scientists have discovered that a drug currently being tested against cancers might help children with a rare, fatal condition called Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, which causes rapid, premature aging.

How can physicians assist in the investigation of bioterrorism or other biocrimes?
Schutzer and colleagues give guidance for physicians who believe that a patient has been a victim of an act of bioterror or another biocrime, in a paper published in the open access journal PLoS Medicine.

Seaweed could make junk food healthier
Junk food could be made healthier by adding an extract of an exotic type of seaweed, say British scientists, who believe it will be a valuable weapon in the international battle against obesity, diabetes and heart disease and diseases such as bowel cancer.

Scientists launch new study into canine arthritis
Veterinary scientists at the University of Liverpool want to recruit 20 Labrador dogs to a new study into osteoarthritis of the elbow.

How a zebra lost its stripes: Rapid evolution of the quagga
DNA from museum samples of extinct animals is providing unexpected information on the extent and effect of the Ice Age as well as the path of species evolution, according to a report by scientists from Yale University, the Smithsonian Institute and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

Science magazine and NSF announce 2005 Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge winners
Sometimes the best way to express a scientific idea is through an image that grabs the eye and invites viewers to wonder what they're seeing.

A slight difference and significant similarities
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology apply methods for substance comparison to genetically modified potatoes.

Hopkins geneticist discovers mutations in cancer cells that suggest new forms of treatment
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have identified three new genetic mutations in brain tumors, a discovery that could pave the way for more effective cancer treatments.

Structures of marine toxins provide insight into their effectiveness as cancer drugs
Vibrantly colored creatures from the depths of the South Pacific Ocean harbor toxins that potentially can act as powerful anti-cancer drugs, according to research findings from University of Wisconsin-Madison biochemists and their Italian colleagues.

Mapping the risks of hurricane disasters
The Natural Disaster Hotspots report released earlier this year showed that the U.S.

Beauty queens urge girls not to sacrifice their bones
Seven beauty queens from four continents today appealed to girls and young women to realize that modern ideas of 'beauty' can damage their bones and lead to osteoporosis later in life.

Severe maternal morbidity in Canada, 1991-2001
Shi Wu Wen and colleagues report rates of severe maternal morbidity in Canada over a 10-year period.

Molecule walks like a human
A research team, led by Ludwig Bartels, an assistant professor of chemistry at UC Riverside and a member of UCR's Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering, is the first to design a molecule that can move in a straight line on a flat surface.

Medieval pottery in the Basque Country (VIII-XIII centuries)
This work tackled that apparently Janusian nature of pottery artefacts and, though risking stating the obvious, underlined the importance of this two-sided character of this branch of archaeology.

Effects of bacterial pneumonia no worse for HIV-positive patients
Pneumonia doesn't appear to harm HIV-positive patients any more than those without HIV, according to a new international study conducted in part by the University of Alberta.

Study shows Hurricane Katrina affected 20,000 physicians, up to 6,000 may have been displaced
Hurricane Katrina and the city-swamping floods that drowned New Orleans and surrounding areas in a toxic gumbo appear to have dislocated up to 5,944 active, patient-care physicians, a new University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study shows.

APS physics tip sheet #53
This issue includes news tips related to the physics of abstract art, sparkling wine, and broken hearts.

Potential new treatment for insulin-dependent diabetes
Scientists in Japan have found a way to improve on a promising diabetes treatment.

Investment in energy R&D declines despite supply problems, soaring prices
Despite hurricanes interrupting the nation's gas supplies, war amid the oil fields of the Middle East, and calls to drill in protected areas, US investments in energy research and development have steadily dropped in the last two decades, writes UC Berkeley's Dan Kammen.

Noted engineer, NSF leader, Penn professor Joseph Bordogna speaks at NJIT
New horizons for engineering and technology will be the subject of the keynote address delivered at the first annual convocation ceremony at New Jersey Institute of Technology by Joseph Bordogna, PhD, Alfred Fitler Moore Professor of Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania.

Room-temperature transistor laser is step closer to commercialization
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have demonstrated the room-temperature operation of a heterojunction bipolar transistor laser, moving it an important step closer to commercialization.

Air pollution linked to heart attack
Scientists have discovered a link between ambient air pollution and acute myocardial infarction, or heart attack.

Purdue method will help industry design parts-search systems
Researchers at Purdue University who developed the first system capable of searching a company's catalog of three-dimensional parts created with computer-aided design software are now providing a method to evaluate how well such systems work.

Four new us patents granted to Acrux for transdermal drug delivery
Acrux Limited (ASX: ACR), the Australian pharmaceutical company that specialises in products delivering therapeutic drugs through the skin, today announced that it has been granted four more US patents relating to its transdermal drug delivery technology.

Experts urge reform of international patent system at eve of WIPO assembly
On the eve of the General Assembly of the World Intellectual Property Organization, 40 international experts warn that the current intellectual property regime undermines agreed sustainable development targets and call on WIPO to pay greater attention to the diverse needs and technological capacities of developing countries.

Post-stroke tests not used often enough, especially in women
Women who survive a stroke are less likely than men to get crucial tests of their heart and neck arteries that can help improve their treatment and reduce their risk of a second stroke, a new study finds.

Death sentences linked to history of lynching in states
States that sentence the most criminals to death also tend to be the states that had the most lynchings in the past, a new study suggests.

Loss of body mass linked to development of Alzheimer's disease
Loss of body mass over time appears to be strongly linked to older adults' risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (AD), and the greater the loss the greater the chance of a person developing the disease, according to a new study, which is the first to associate decline in body mass with the eventual onset of Alzheimer's.

Groundbreaking consensus: pediatric cardiology training recommendations
Experts write the first comprehensive set of training guidelines for those who wish to treat the littlest heart disease patients.

Cancer vaccine under development using synthetic protein
Scientists at Monash and Melbourne universities have developed a synthetic protein fragment or peptide, that could be used to produce a more effective cancer vaccine.

Elevated GGT enzyme may predict risk of death from cardiovascular disease
A simple blood test may identify people who have an increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, researchers report in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

September 27th telebriefing on premature health
Clinical experts from the Children's Hospital Boston and the National Association of Neonatal Nurses will lead a media teleconference to review data and to offer advice on safeguarding preemie health.

Temperature regulates circadian clock in zebrafish
A paper in the open access journal PLoS Biology reveals the molecular basis by which temperature cycles entrain circadian rhythms of clock gene expression in zebrafish.

Three Alberta projects qualify for Government of Canada incentives for new buildings
Three commercial building projects in Alberta are being rewarded for making their new buildings more energy-efficient.

Researchers find how one genetic variation may leave some people vulnerable to addiction
Scientists have learned how a genetic variation long suspected in making some people susceptible to alcoholism and narcotic drug addiction actually does so.

Smoking may increase risk of diabetes
Smoking may increase the risk of developing diabetes, according to new research by investigators at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and colleagues.

The economics of prescription drugs versus OTC
Governments in several countries with public Pharmacare and in a few provinces in Canada are considering reclassifying some drugs from prescription to over-the-counter status.

Compound reveals new link between signaling protein and cell migration
Biochemists at UIC report the protein RKIP, which regulates key signaling pathways in cells, also plays a role in controlling the active movement or migration of cells.

Lithium battery cathodes being made using novel sol-gel method
Lithium batteries increasingly permeate our lives in all manner of electrical devices.

Work absence after breast cancer diagnosis: A population-based study
Elizabeth Maunsell and colleagues report on the work experience of women recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

Kidney transplant patients face higher cancer risk
People who receive a kidney transplant are nearly four times more likely to develop melanoma, a rare but deadly form of skin cancer, according to a study in the November 1, 2005 issue of Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

Updated guideline: Carotid endarterectomy beneficial for stroke prevention in some patients
Stroke affects more than 700,000 people in the United States per year.

Public to see live broadcast for first time of surreal seafloor off Washington
The first ever live video broadcasts from the Juan de Fuca Ridge on the seafloor 200 miles off the Washington and British Columbia coast are planned Sept.

Study shows new imaging tracer clarifies cause of chest pain up to 30 hours after pain stops
A national team of researchers, led by a cardiovascular nuclear medicine specialist at the University of Maryland Medical Center, has demonstrated for the first time that an experimental radioactive compound can show images of heart damage up to 30 hours after a brief interruption of blood flow and oxygen.

Poor health literacy associated with poorer physical and mental health
Health problems that place limitations on daily activities and result in pain that interferes with normal work activities were more common among older individuals with poor health literacy, according to a study in the September 26 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
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